The Double Hour

Odd little thriller about a half-Italian, half-Slovenian hotel maid (Kseniya Rappoport) who, shortly after witnessing the suicide of a guest, meets a kindly security guard (Filippo Timi) at a "speed dating" session and starts going out with him. What follows first hints at a romance, then becomes a crime movie, then takes a sharp turn into the supernatural, then... becomes something else.

I don't want to give away the surprises, except that what Capotondi and his writers seem to be doing is taking the standard twisty-turny thriller formula and doing something unusual - even, dare I say it, distinctly Italian - with it. In theory, it's a refreshing change from all those modern thrillers which are really just about their scripts' own cleverness, with the characters merely serving elaborately designed, clockwork-precise plots. In reality, though, you the viewer may be trying to keep tabs on all the little details of The Double Hour's plot in order to guess what's going to happen, only to be disappointed. In short, I felt let down by the rather sudden and unsatisfying ending of The Double Hour (a reference to an apparent Italian superstition about clocks reading 12:12, 3:03, 10:10, etc.), but soon after I found myself respecting what the filmmakers were really doing. That said, in the long run it's a good but not very memorable movie.